The Writer Who Speaks

It’s a necessary evil for authors. I’m talking about the M word. Yes, that’s right.


If you’re like me, you’d rather be churning out pages toward your next title, or even editing the one you have, OR talking to other authors about the challenges of selling books these days.

But the hard part, the really hard part, of being an author these days is spending the time it takes to market yourself and your books.

It’s necessary.

Tonight, my marketing entails me showing up in front of an unknown number of people at the local public library–somewhere between zero and a gazillion of them; I don’t know for sure–and talking to them about my book. I had the option of talking about any of my books, and the library was even willing to pay me an honorarium to come. Instead I am going to shake the 8 ball and hope that it comes up SALE! as I put my books out for their perusal, and possible purchase.

I’ve chosen to talk about The Key of Solomon tonight. I did that because it’s got a great cover, it’s probably my most recent completed book, and it’s a good lead in to the next book I hope to come out with in coming months, Soul Survivor.

Here I stand on Emmy’s night with Kyle Portbury (center) and Mike Agee (right). Kyle is the writer/director; Mike is our fearless department leader.

Listen. I’ve been a book editor for ten years. I’ve been a college professor for 21 years. I’m used to being up front. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get butterflies before I make a presentation like this. We’re going to spend about half an hour talking about “Truth,” the film that won us the Emmy last year, then the second half hour on The Key of Solomon. It will be interesting to see if people file out after the first half.

I’ve recruited my wife Shelly to help me sell books, if I need her. I try not to get my expectations up to high for events like this. Really, I’ve been to book signings where I’ve had one person show up in four hours. But if no one shows up for my presentation, I probably will be a little miffed.

I will report later on how it goes. We will see…